the baths

I found another ocean baths at Merewether.

And it’s absolutely massive. You can tell where it ends by the spray around the edges. They swim races across it, you can see the starting blocks way down there on the left.

It was built in 1930 and is still the largest ocean baths in the southern hemisphere.

And it’s still really old fashioned looking. I saw it described somewhere as art deco. And it’s not too deep either which is good. I didn’t get in on Sunday though because it was really cold. Not the water but the weather and this pool is pretty exposed.

So we walked down the beach for a while and saw rocks and seaweed and general stuff you see on the beach.

And then we went to Newcastle Baths.It was opened in 1922. There used to be a huge map of the world etched on the bottom of one of the pools here but it’s covered with sand now.

It has a large pool then a separate lap pool. So the frolickers aren’t getting in the way of the exercisers.

I did swim in this one on Sunday. I gasped when I walked in. I was standing on the step and an old italian lady was in there yelling at me to get in – is beautiful, is beautiful she was saying waving her arms at me. Lot’s of older ladies go there and walk laps. For bloody hours it seems. Back and forth. It is lovely though.

This old lady in the pink hat went in in her undies. She had on a white blouse her pink hat and these huge white granny nickers. They were already all baggy around the thighs before she got in so I’m surprised they stayed on at all once they got water logged. They would have had some weight in them judging by the amount of fabric that was in them.

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8 thoughts on “the baths

  1. I never heard of this before–so essentially they close in part of the ocean so it’s more like a swimming pool (no sharks)? That’s pretty cool whatever it is. They used to have a salt water swimming pool on the boardwalk where I used to live, but it was a long time ago. I’m pretty sure it started out as a salt water pool.

    • Yes, I think convicts and prisoners did a lot of the hard work around here. The baths are just lovely though. Much nicer than a chlorine pool. They empty them once a month (I think its monthly) clean them and refill them. I often wonder as I’m paddling around if a shark might have been washed over in rough seas but I think it’s pretty unlikey. They’re just off the land.

  2. Great old photos! We used to have the Sutro Baths outside of San Francisco: they were wonderful, but the building burned down back in the 60s and the owners just abandoned the site. You can still visit the ruins, which are kind of creepy-looking; there’s an old tunnel that used to lead to the water heating room. The park service also warns visitors that the tides can get quite high there—people have been swept off by the waves.

    But I still think they’re a good idea. The waters off of northern California are too cold to enjoy swimming in, and it’s not a good idea to let children even wade in the surf because the pull can drag them in. Maybe I should drop a card in the suggestions box at the park service office next time I’m at the beach!

    • I took those photos with my iphone. There’s this cool photo app that makes your photo’s look old and retro.
      Wow about the abonded old pool site though – you think they’d have it all closed up due to insurance.

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